Kerry defends Obama in Israel

Monday, June 30
JERUSALEM (AP) — U.S. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts says that Barack Obama is a 100 percent supporter of Israel and if elected will bring new spirit to Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking efforts.

The 2004 Democratic presidential candidate also says an online campaign questioning Obama's background and credentials is nothing more than a character assassination. Jewish critics have charged that Obama is a closet Muslim and is soft on terror.

Kerry is on a congressional visit to Israel. He told the Associated Press today that Obama has a deep understanding of Jewish history. Kerry helped Obama burst on the national stage in 2004 and has been a strong and vocal backer of Obama's 2008 campaign.

Kerry arrived from Saudi Arabia and is slated to meet Israeli leaders before departing for Egypt.

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